This past year, emotionally for me has been the hardest I've ever faced. Not hard, in the, I'm-being-controlled-and-destroyed-by-my-boyfriend-and bosses, sort of way, that time in my life has long since passed, but more in the I'm-at-an-emotional-crossroads-and-decisiveness-isn't-my-strong-suit kind of way.
You see, I'm not a young adult any more (I realized only last week that this year I'll be 27, Gah! I'm way closer to 30 than 20. When did that happen?), I'm a wife, a mother and full fledge adult. In a day a I wear many a hats; chef, doctor, entertainer, builder of all things plastic and stupid (seriously, do the makers of Kinder Surprise toys even try to put those things together?), office assistant, bed maker, laundy do-er. The list goes on.
But my favourite job, the one that encompasses many of my hats is my job as mother. Mama to two sweet* and wonderful little girls. Right next to that one is my job as wife and life partner to a man who I believe was created specifically for me.
Those two positions are ones I was training for and aching for, since long before I knew what 20 felt like. And while time sometimes moved slowly, and there were many a days when I'd sit and bawl to my Mom that no one would ever love me, God proved faithful. He proved once again, He's the boss and I'm not, and that His timing is perfect. He may have also arranged for a few word eating moments, where I've had to take back my dislike for a judgement or parenting decision my folks have made, because the time came and I had to make the same choice.
It's been over a year since Audrey was born and in that time it seems as though things around these parts have changed in leaps and bounds. You know that, I've talked about it more than once, but the change that leaves me dumbfounded (no comment little brother) is the growth of our children. How can it go so fast, how can they be one person one day and someone totally different the next. Where did Bethany learn to say those things and did I really just teach Audrey to walk?!
So many times over the past year, I feel as though I'm an observer, watching a show I never want to end. Seeing my children grow, watching my marriage survive the struggles that rough work situations bring, watching myself, evovle into who I was meant to be. And in those moments, when it feels like I'm only watching, I also start thinking. Thinking about this thing and that, but mostly, thinking about another baby.
And, I keep thinking, if being the mother of 2 is so great, what about being the mother of 3. For months on end, it seemed as though I didn't just want to have another baby, I ached to have another baby. There were moments when I felt as though my heart was wrapped in a vice grip, the longing was so bad. I would look at new babies and think, just one more. Just one more chance to have a new born, just one more baby to cuddle and to love, just. One. more.
The problem is, it's not quite that simple for us. You see, I don't exactly excel at the being pregnant thing. In fact, I down right suck at it. We were told when I gave birth to Audrey that it was NOT recommended that we do it again, because the source of all my pain and troubles is still unknown. Pregnancy lasts a very, very long time when even standing up out of a chair brings tears to your eyes. Corey, who when we met wanted 4 children, now wasn't so sure about more. He loves our girls every bit as much as I do, and enjoys being a Daddy, but he wasn't exactly thrilled at the prospect of me being pregnant all over again.
It's not just me who faces these pregnancies, it's us. Corey, the girls, we're all part of the same family and that means we all face the same trials. The unknowns behind my health issues, the issues that have lingered on since AJ was born, leave him uneasy, fearful in fact. He never said, "No, absolutely not, no more babies" but he also, never jumped aboard. It was one ship he is totally fine letting set sail.
And if truth be truth, I guess that part of my longing stemmed from wanting a "normal pregnancy". One like those annoying people tell you about, you know, "I never felt better than when I was pregnant!", "After each baby I was thinner and more beautiful than before", "It was roses, I never felt delivery, labour helped me develop a 6 pack and I'm sexier now than ever before, oh and did I mention I came home from the hospital in my skinny jeans, sporting a wicked awesome rack, that's left Pam Anderson jealous" I seriously wanted to GAG and punch a few of them right between the eyes!
I just wanted a chance to love the feeling, to be glowy and happy about it. It's not even just the pain issues I wanted to be rid of, I also wanted to not step on a scale 3 times a day and hate the fact the the number increased. Yes I know that happens to everyone, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.
That, is where the 3rd road block cropped up. I didn't want to have to lose it all again. It's not easy being pregnant and gaining weight. Even though the second time around I gained the "appropriate amount", I still spent the better part of a year losing it. I'm near my new goal weight, and while the whole tonned-ness part has yet to show up, I have hope. If I get pregnant again, I'd have to start all over. Work twice as hard and maybe never get back here again.
Selfish? Probably. Realistic? Absolutely.
Then, to put the cherry on the top. There was the fear of managing another one. Life can be hard sometimes with 2 kids, although strangely enough I feel it's easier than with one. But right now, I have an arm for each of them and when Corey's gone and I have to put them to bed at night they can both get cuddled. If I had 3, who would get left out? Financially (while it didn't play a big role, it's ridiculous to not consider) it's easier to travel and things with 2. What if I had 3 and Audrey was the middle one, and one day she felt I didn't love her enough? I love my children equally, but so do many parents who's children at some point or another feel jilted (this is not at all a critisim of parents of 3, 4 or 19, just my own fears).
Those thoughts, all of them have spent the better part of a year swirling and twirling around my already too full brain. (Is it just me or is 27 the age that your brain starts randomly deleting certain information. It's like it's memory banks are full and it'll only squeeze so much more in, the rest falls by default into the garbage pail. It's no wonder my Mom can't remember anything! She's got another 26 years of memories on me...) I cried over them, I talked about them and I prayed. I begged that God would do one of two things, and that somewhere along the line I'd find what I was looking for.
It seemed as though the debate would never end, that life would go on but I would always be at a loss. And then something changed.
I don't know when exactly, but I do know that all of a sudden one day I noticed something strange. I wasn't longing any more. I'd walk past a pregnant lady and instead of thinking, "Oh I wish I could have it easy and be pregnant again", I thought "Good Lord, I'm glad that's you not me!" A very good friend of mine had a new baby girl, and as I sit and cuddle her, I no longer think "I could just keep you, better yet, I want to have another one of you!", I now think, "Sigh, you're such a love. Beautiful, and tiny, and so sweet. I'm gonna give you back to your Mommy now, because I am soo over, spit up".
I found peace.
It was as though, God laid His hand on my heart and said, "It's ok to be happy. It's ok to be content, it's ok to have 2" I'm not saying the the small whispers that Corey and I hear from time to time that adoption may be an option later in life, are gone. Who knows where that road will lead, but for now. In the place and time where we don't want to adopt, where we want to parent the 2 kids we do have, I am content